My conversion to blue occurred in May 2005, in the attic of a stone terraced house in the Crookes area of Sheffield. My sister and I had an appointment there with a Colour Me Beautiful consultant, who worked from her home. The stairs up to the top floor opened directly into a large open room, full of bales of material, swatches of samples, and bottles and pots of cosmetics. CMB promises a personal transformation. On its current website, it proclaims that ‘wearing colours that complement your colouring can make you look healthier, more vibrant and younger’. The consultant establishes what your dominant colouring is, and how this determines what clothes and make-up you should wear. I was identified as a ‘cool winter’ person; the little folder of 29 swatches of material I came away with is dominated by teal, periwinkle, aqua, and royal, medium and Chinese blues, together with reds and greens with blue tints, and the instruction to go for an ‘overall look’ of blues (with eye pencils in ‘marine’). On the few occasions in the past I had deviated from black and other neutral colours in my clothing choice, I had never even considered blue. It turned out to be excellent advice. And outside the world of fashion, I already knew quite a bit about the history of the colour in western art.